The Far North District Council is asking residents to help set traffic speeds on 55 mostly rural roads during a month-long consultation that began yesterday.

The consultation will review traffic speeds on roads in Kaeo, Waipapa, Waimate North and Okaihau to ensure limits are safe and appropriate. It does not include state highways.

The council is also proposing variable school speed zones outside Springbank School, outside Waipapa, and Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, in Quarry Rd, north of Kaitaia, as already apply outside many schools while children are present.

Darrell Sargent, general manager strategic planning and policy, said consultation was the first step in a rolling review of speed limits on district roads that would be conducted across the Far North over the next 12 months as part of the government's Safer Journeys Strategy, but also in response to concerns raised by residents about speed limits on a number of roads.

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"Speed limits on many of our roads were set when the options were 50km/h in urban areas, 100km/h in most other places, and 70km/h on a few semi-urban roads. As a result, we have some places where drivers can travel at 100km/h on narrow, unsealed roads with one-lane bridges and poor visibility on corners," he said.

The consultation proposals included the current speed limit for each road under review, and a proposed speed limit that took into account a range of factors including whether the road is sealed, its primary use and traffic volumes.

"We can set speed limits of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 100km/h so they better match the road environment. Our goal is to create safer, more appropriate and predictable speeds and travel times for all road users," Mr Sargent added.

Consultation on the first round of speed limit reviews would close on November 22, with submitters who wanted to speak to their submissions to be heard in December. The council would release its decisions, and make any changes to the Speed Limits Bylaw 2019, in February.

For further information, including maps of the roads under review and submission forms, go to www.fndc.govt.nz/speedlimitsbylaw.